If we’ve learned anything from watching Philippe Starck over the years (other than how wonderful it is to be an insane Frenchman), it’s that sometimes it’s okay to take a break from all the altruistic, design-for-the-betterment-of-humanity-and-the-world stuff and just build a gigantic, multi-million dollar yacht. Such is the case this week with Yves Behar, though not with an absurdly big boat, but an absurdly expensive phone. Taking time off from his swoon-worthy project of late, like electric car chargers, free glasses for the impoverished, and even more earth-friendly underwear, Behar has teamed with the newly-formed Copenhagen-based company, Æsir, to develop a cell phone, aptly named +YvesBehar. While the phone looks roughly the same size as Apple’s iPhone 4, it’s missing all the bells and whistles when it comes to apps and, well, operating system bells and whistles. It is, however, meticulously designed as a physical object, its keypad a beveled beauty. The kicker is that the stainless steel version will set you back around $10,000. If that isn’t enough for you, there’s also the one that comes in gold. For that you’ll only need just shy of $60,000. Here’s a bit from Behar with an introduction to the phone:
With the Æsir phone, I wanted to show an alternative to the sea of smartphones and their deluge of features. In an age when the industry seems to think that phones aren’t for speaking anymore, I wanted to focus on the idea of voice, clarity and simplicity.
The central tenet behind the +YvesBehar is to literally craft the visual details, craft the functional tactility, and craft the user interface. This level of resolution for every touch point was achieved using a European-centric approach to manufacturing, assembly and design, partnering with the best makers in Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. The +YvesBehar champions the idea of craftsmanship in an age that’s obsessed with more and making last year’s products obsolete. Instead we propose better and long-lasting as our starting criteria.
Someone out there buy one and take a photo of it with your Leica M9, okay?